Spirit Animal: Marmot. I mean, come on- they're cute, have sweet whiskers/beards and they've struck the perfect balance of being highly social and communicative while also appreciating the importance of rest and relaxation. They enjoy lounging on rocks and making friends while exploring high alpine areas. Plus, over the 4th of July, I overnighted in the boulder field of Long's Peak and totally became best friends with one. So, I've got that going for me, which is nice.
Camping Must: Bacon. Nowhere else in life do I really, but when camping, breakfast must include bacon.
Can't live without gear: Oh my! This one is a problem. If I had to boil it down, my mountain bike, "Peggy" and a pair of skis. We will leave out all the gear needed to enjoy those two pieces of equipment.
What is your favorite book involving the outdoors? Probably the Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac. His exploration of a zen mindset and the overlap of his relationship with himself and the great outdoors has spoken to me in many different voices while reading it over the years.
Spirit Animal: Wildebeest. I like to migrate significant distances in large packs of like-minded people :)
Cushy Cabin or Backcountry Bivvi? Cushy Bivvi Backcountry Cabining.
What is your biggest outdoor fear? It's been a big year for me and my spearfishing adventures in South Florida, so it would have to be underwater blackouts. With the chaos that can occur in underwater sports, it's easy to overdo it and there isn't much safe haven underwater.
Coolest thing you've done outside this year- I work remotely... so I wanted to work remotely in the truest sense of the word. I set myself up with solar and a hotspot and was able to work from my campsite on Washington Gulch Road in Crested Butte, CO for a week! I woke up everyday, went riding or hiking and worked a full day on my computer, (complete with video conferencing, which shocked my boss!), while surrounded by incredible views.
Coolest thing you've done outside this year: 10-day road trip through Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks included a few day hikes, a snowy overnight in Grand Teton, paddle boarding and mountain biking!
Outdoor bragging right: Getting upgraded to pro downhill mountain bike racer!
What is your biggest outdoor fear?: Forces of nature. Nature is amazing and incredibly powerful. The possibility of encountering things like avalanches, lightning strikes, extreme changes in weather, etc., out there can be pretty frightening.
Favorite camp hack: Make s'mores with chocolate chip cookies instead of graham crackers. You'll be in for a mind-blowing s'more-gasm.
Can't live without gear item: Eno Hammock....double nest, of course ;)
What is the scariest outdoor experience you've had? While canyoneering in a remote section of Escalante, UT, our primary rope sunk to the bottom of a 15-foot deep "pot hole". After a half hour spent trying to recover it, we had to give up due to risk of hypothermia. We were able to jerry-rig our backup rope with enough pull cord to semi-safely make the descent.
What is your biggest outdoor fear? Becoming disabled. Yea, morbid. I really enjoy getting outside and doing sweet stuff. Sometimes my mind races about the "what if". I really respect disabled athletes for overcoming their obstacles and pursuing their dreams given their barriers.
Favorite camp hack: Just learned about this one for all you ladies out there: On car camping trips, bring some kitty litter to stop those frigid morning, hop-out-of-the-tent pee disruptions.
Biggest outdoor fear: You know, they say mountain lions can see us, but we never see them...
Spirit animal: Snow leopard - they are elusive, powerful and if they could ski, I bet they'd crush!
Coolest thing you've done this year: Skiing powder in Japan! Weaving through the beautiful silver birch trees in knee-deep pow with big fluffy flakes dumping on my head...what could be better?! Kanpai!
Cushy cabin or backcountry bivvi?: Backcountry! I want to work for my experiences and be with people without distraction. I also want to maximize the amount of time I'm outdoors so I can paint and draw the landscape with my portable supplies. I'm indoors enough with my day job.
Can't live without gear item: My red plaid Jetboil :) We tend to have little cooking competitions with our Jetboils and I'd like to think I've won a few times with my stir fry.
Favorite camp hack: Pre-made breakfast burritos warmed up over the morning fire.
Coolest thing you've done outside this year: 2015 was full of cool adventures. I bought a mountain bike and dove in head first (mayve too literally sometimes). I traveled to Peru where I hiked the incredible Inca Trail and went swimming in Lake Titicaca - the world's highest navigable lake (~12,500ft). To finish up the year, I completed my first winter summit of a 14er, Mt. Sherman.
Coolest things you've done outside this year: It's hard to pick just one thing since I try to enjoy the outdoors as often as I can, but this year it would have to be hiking the NaPali coast on Kauai. The surroundings were just so different from my usual stomping grounds here in Colorado - humid and jungle-like, with breathtaking views of the ocean and rugged coastline and dotted with hidden beaches. I felt like I was in Jurassic Park!
Favorite camp hack: Snickers bar for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. Fantastic glycemic index, easy to eat anywhere, (just make sure you don't break your teeth off on one when you reach for that midnight snack in your tent on a 20-degree night...)
Can't live without gear item: Long underwear! Required for me to survive since I get hypothermic so easily. Everything else is a distant second place. Extra socks, does that count?
Cushy cabin or backcountry bivvy? A little bit of both. It's all about balance, right?
What inspires you most to get outside? People! I want to have as many outdoor experiences as possible and being outside makes me feel wild and free. When I take a deep breath and look around, I get so excited and never want to stop exploring. There is no better way to learn than from the people who are already living the adventures that you aspire to have!
Coolest things you've done outside this year: Competed in the Teeny Weenie Bikini Contest at Copper Mtn for closing day wearing a costume made from duct tape (and took third place!) It was a balmy 19 degrees out and snowing... so I'd say it was definitely one of the coolest things I did - literally!
Current outdoor mission: To summit all of Colorado's 58 fourteeners with my trusty Loki, the husky dog, in tow. We're on track to finish next year and he'll be the first dog in history with documented proof of completion!
Outdoor bragging right: I have hiked the salkantay trek to Machu Picchu, went hang gliding in Argentine and dare to sky dive in Hawaii. Also, I've caught a 68-pound salmon in the Patagonian region of Chile!
Spirit Animal: Probably a Moose. They are just so majestic and powerful.
Favorite camp food? Peanut butter - and it has to be good, real, peanut butter. 100% peanuts, unsalted on a blueberry crunch Clif bar. Really fantastic when you've been biking in the rain for 8 hours, or are really cold and don't want to make anything more involved than that.
Outdoor bragging right: Rowing is an outdoor activity, right? I'm a national champion.
Cabin or bivvi? I'll sleep outside, thanks. Or in the back of a Subaru.